NHL·Point of View

Fans sound off on NHL lockout, support drops for both sides

Wednesday marked Day 18 of the NHL lockout, and we asked fans their opinion on who they were now supporting. The results are in and it's showing a decrease in support for both sides of the labour negotiations.
The most visible members involved in the NHL labour negotiations, from left Bill Daly, Gary Bettman, and Donald Fehr, haven't been able to reach an agreement with the scheduled start of the 2012-13 NHL season mere days away.

Wednesday marked Day 18 of the NHL lockout, and we asked fans their opinion on who they were now supporting. The results are in and the patience and support fans had been showing for both sides seem to be wearing thin as compared to a month ago.

The stats as of Aug. 30:

  • 20.87 per cent (344 votes) supported the owners.
  • 38.29 per cent (631 votes) supported the players.
  • 40.84 per cent (673 votes) supported neither.

Yesterday's (unscientific) findings show a drop in support for both the owners and players and a rising tide of "just get a deal done" sentiment. The following are the results, plus some of the best comments from you, the fans:

  • 16.77 per cent (979 votes) support the owners:

The Peg: "Being from Winnipeg I support the owners who just spent 180 million out of their pockets to bring a team back to the Peg. I just read that a player who gets 5 million per season gets about $67.000 per game. 99% of the fans have never made that kind of money for a year. I don't have a problem with the players getting a big paycheque, but the above noted figure is insane."

crochet: "How can one possibly support the players. There is no precedent in any industry where these kinds of terms and this kind of money would be turned down. NHLPA, look at the NFL contract and see how fast you grab a pen because your guaranteed contracts and entry level deals with 850K / year look pretty sweet to me. Donald Fehr is purposely not negotiating and purposely delayed negotiations, he doesn't give a damn about the players or hockey."

  • 32.34 per cent (1,888) support the players:

commyhunter: "I think the more people learn about what the owners are trying to do the more support there will be for the players.

"In record revenue conditions they want them to make less actual $$ this year and next than they did last year. That means taking $$ from existing, signed in good faith contracts. This to save a few "Bettman" franchises while growing the huge profits on the good teams. A wage freeze is one thing, but this is something that players cannot and should not accept. You want to save those franchises, move 'em to Quebec, Hamilton, and even Saska-fricken-toon.

"The league needs to move off of this, and the lockout will go away, bottom line."

alex746: "Given all the facts and history, I don't see how anyone could support the owners. Owners need to be responsible for the contracts that they sign. It's not fair for them to be able to promise X and then actually pay only 75% of X. Salary clawbacks should only be used in extreme circumstances when the health of the company is at risk. The NHL is making record profits. Revenue sharing formulas have been proposed by the PA, but the NHL refuses to take salary clawbacks off the table.

"I really hope the players hold the line on this. I'm just sick of the NHL. They insist on throwing money at unprofitable franchises in the South and then they complain that these teams can't afford current salaries…Move teams to Canadian markets that have the fan base to support those teams and your problem is solved. Until they let go of their dreams of southern expansion and big ESPN TV contracts, they have no business cutting back player salaries."

  • 50.89 per cent (2,971) support neither side:

meplat:  "I'm 56 years old. I watched hockey most of my life, but stopped when I was about 40. The wildly escalating salaries and club incomes, $60 hockey jerseys (yeah, it's been a few years!) and other stuff marketed by the NHL, etc. and I realized it wasn't about the sport anymore.

"We went from the players being abused financially, to the fans being abused financially.

It's less about hockey as it is about profit margins and big pay cheques. Something's gone wrong. I do not know how to fix it, but I know what needs attention."

andie-7: "Who am I supporting? What kind of a question is that? Why would I support either of these two groups...millionaires vs billionaires, both arguing over who ought to get more money, yeesh. I'd support whoever had the guts to come right out and say that this whole mess is a joke and the NHL will be lucky to retain an ounce of credibility once it's all said and done.

RS.RS.RS: "I support my family, I can't afford to support people that have Millions & Billions more than me... hopefully no one else will either."